Some athletes are just born with natural talent, but any talent would be put to the test when you can’t understand the language people are speaking. That’s just one of the challenges standout twins Hannah and Heart Lising had to overcome when they arrived at Sun Valley Polytechnic High School.  

The twins moved to the U.S. from the Philippines in 2020 in their freshman year. It was at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, so their schooling started online.  

“It was kind of sad because we can’t really hangout with people around us,” Heart said of their early experience at the school.  

Not only was there the pandemic-related isolation, there was also a new language to learn. 

“It’s like sometimes I can’t speak straight English,” Hannah explained. “I have to stop and think about it.” 

The sisters persisted and when the time came, the former badminton players decided to try out for the high school girls’ basketball team. 

“There was a barrier, language, and so I remember sometimes, ‘Do you understand me?’ and Heart always said, ‘Yes,’ but I wasn’t sure if she actually did sometimes,” their basketball coach, Tremeka Batiste, told KTLA.  

Learning the game of basketball took a lot of work, but with the help of their teammates and the twins’ athletic talent, Hannah and Heart are now dominating the court together.